Razzle Dazzle Ball benefits Crisis Nursery

This year’s Razzle Dazzle Ball, the annual fundraiser for the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, is dubbed “A Wildly Elegant Affair.” It will be an evening of wild dining and dancing featuring a private “Very Important Party-Animal” reception for the big hunters, a “Tropical Rain Forest Cocktail” reception and silent auction for the safari crowd, dinner, a live auction with exotic items and dancing to the sounds of Mystic Voyage. Razzle Dazzle’s “Wildly Elegant Affair” will be held at the Sheraton Westport, Lakeside Chalet on Saturday night, April 5 at 6:15 p.m. Tickets start at $150 per person which are available by calling Laura Coatney at 314-768-3865.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be the wildly entertaining John “Cougar” Carney of KMOX-AM Radio. Playing “Jane” to John’s “Tarzan” will be Julie “Gazelle” Buck, KLOU 103.3 FM Radio personality and honorary celebrity chair. To get the party off to a roaring start, Pink Elephant Martinis will be served at the open bar where guests can pass on the martinis and order any kind of drinks they want. As in the past the Razzle Dazzle Ball will feature the Nursery’s signature Chimp-agne and Diamond Extravaganza. This enables guests to “buy” champagne flutes, each of which contains a sparkling gem stone…either a one carat diamond or a top quality cubic zirconium. Here’s how it works. Each person selects their own flute, removes the stone, brings it to the jeweler’s table to be tagged and stored in a safe place for later in the evening when the jeweler can examine each purchased stone to determine the winner. Then the flutes are filled with champagne, all this for $25, and as my friend Roberta Cohen, former president of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, says, “Not a bad raffle ticket — you get a glass of champagne and a chance to win a diamond!” Roberta also told me “It’s about time that we have a party with a wild animal motif, as I have so many wild animal print outfits,” which gives you an idea about the dress for the evening. The men are invited to come in their penguin suits, otherwise known as tuxedos, but I suspect that a leopard skin or a safari jacket would also be acceptable.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

I tell you about all the fun and games to encourage you to support the evening’s cause, the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery. This very wonderful organization, committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, provides short-term, emergency shelter for children, birth through age eleven, whose families are in crisis. For nearly 21 years the Crisis Nursery, located in four sites, has provided 24-hour care, 365 days a year, to children in the Greater St. Louis region. The average stay of a child is two-to-three days during which time the child receives trained care, a medical exam, a developmental assessment, therapeutic activities, art activities and three well-balanced meals a day. In addition the family receives parent education, follow-up support services and, where needed, home visits. The Nursery saves the lives of more than 5,000 children a year whose families have brought them there for a variety of reasons including overwhelming parental stress, parental illness or death, lack of utilities, food or shelter, domestic violence or any other situation which jeopardizes the safety and well being of the child and necessitates temporary child-parent separation.

Every year since 1996 at the Razzle Dazzle Ball the Board of the Nursery presents the H.U.G.S. & K.I.S.S.E.S. Award to the individuals, groups, organizations, foundations and corporations who strive to improve the quality of life for children in our community. The award’s moniker is an acronym for Helpfulness, Uncommon Generosity, Sincere Kindness, Shining Service and Extraordinary Support. This year’s recipients are Shea O’Toole, the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Gretchen and Don Gerber and Michael Neidoff’s Centene Corporation. They know there’s a jungle out there and are involved in helping kids and their families survive that jungle.

All proceeds from the Razzle Dazzle Ball will benefit the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery. Could there be a more creative, fun-filled way to support its crucial mission of child abuse prevention?